Each week, our social media team at Story hops on a conference call discuss the latest and greatest in the world of social media, content marketing, brand storytelling and the like. While most everyone would admit that meetings are rarely fun, I look forward to this call because I love to talk social-media shop.
Considering how quickly marketing happens in the post-advertising age, we aren’t able to cover everything on the blog and a lot of great work that we discuss on our weekly call falls through the cracks. In the last year, we’ve made it a point to highlight the brands each season that have embraced Post-Advertising and have focused their efforts on creating engaging content and igniting movements that spread.
It’s been six long months since our last edition, so let’s get on with it! Here are Ten Brands Doing Post-Advertising Right: Fall Edition.
Last week we suggested a top pick for Social Media Week London: a talk by Alex Balfour of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). We weren’t disappointed. Alex shared with us some impressive statistics and insights learned during LOCOG's digital adventure during the Games, so we wanted to share them with you, along with a very interesting case study on Cadbury's social media efforts during the Games.
I received a sobering yet enlightening Facebook message from my aunt two weeks ago. After getting over my shock that she even knew how to use Facebook Messenger (she is not a technophile), I read her message:
Aunt: Guess what I got today? Me: What? Aunt: The iPhone 5 [cue jaw dropping]
I was reading this on my iPhone 3Gs, yet I’m the one who works at a global post-advertising agency. That’s when I knew it: Mobile has reached significant penetration and can’t be ignored by brands.
I’ve always been a picky eater, though my palate has developed as I’ve gotten older. I used to avoid nearly all condiments and toppings. I’d eat salads without dressing, sandwiches without mayo, and whatever you put mustard on, I didn’t. I’ve come around on some of those. Any salad is better with ranch. I need mayo on my tuna sandwiches.
It makes little sense, allowing a brand I have no intention of ever buying into my precious Facebook timeline. If my wife sneaked it into a sandwich, I’d spit it out like a petulant child. But Grey Poupon took an approach to building a community on Facebook that was so unusual, so exclusive, that I had to become a fan (or at least try).
It’s difficult to define what “existence” even means in today’s digital age, when social technologies are imagined, developed, funded, adopted and acquired by a media conglomerate (often Facebook) in a matter of months, not years. Myspace is technically still in existence (I had to test it in my browser as I wrote this, just to be sure), but it’s far from relevant anymore in the social sphere. If Facebook goes the same route, I’ll concede defeat.
But I don’t expect to be in that situation come 2020. Though Wall Street is panicking about the stock price, which has shrunk by nearly half, Facebook is a game-changing technology, and technologies like that don’t just fade away in less than a decade. As we do the automobile, we can’t image what we ever did or would do without it. It’s a technology that we seemingly never saw coming (as opposed to a smartphone or tablet, which were arguably natural evolutions in product innovation), and technologies like that are special.
So if I’m so confident about the future of Facebook, where do I think it’s going? What do I think it will look like in seven to 10 years? As technology is moving so quickly, it would be futile for me to speculate on exactly what Facebook may be at that time, but here are four that opportunities could help sustain the platform.
Food truck fanatics, hold on to your tongues: Fast-food giants from Sizzler to Taco Bell to Jack in the Box to Applebee’s have fully functional food trucks parading down streets across America. Some just hope to capitalize on the current food truck trend, while others predate it. Should supporters of what some might call authentic food truck culture—the kind incubated in Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles; and other cities—be worried about these flirtations by the big-timers they already vie with every lunch hour?
An increasing number of quick-service restaurants are looking at the medium as more than just an agile promotional vehicle for products and locations—a view that could spell trouble for independents.
But, instead of being considered a threat to the carefully cultivated culture’s longevity, could the increased presence of national brands (as documented by AdWeek) just be a harmless, but telling, aftereffect of a new marketing approach’s success?
One thing’s for sure: The wild success of certain food trucks is no fluke; it’s in no small part due to a breaking from the marketing conventions of larger chains in favor of a nimble, post-ad-approved approach. Mobile or brick-and-mortar, there’s plenty for businesses small and large to learn.
Innovative and stunning websites are one of the hallmarks of a great digital agency. With beautiful imagery, succinct case studies and a dash of fun, an agency can impress potential clients and entice the best workers. Lately we’ve seen a few companies really push the envelope with their websites—namely, convert their websites to social-media profiles. But is the Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest platform appropriate to the task of serving as an agency’s hub? More important, will this growing trend spread to brands—eliminating the website as we know it?
Comedians are inherently self-promoters. In fact we often refer to ourselves as whores. I should know, because I am one. Selling yourself is a tricky business, and even with the emerging technologies that the post-advertising age has afforded comedians—Twitter, YouTube, podcasting, and more—nearly all still follow the standard protocols of producing and selling their content and themselves to get ahead…except Louis C.K.
Online social media is essential for any business hoping to gain favor among today’s consumers. An active Facebook page can mean the difference between serious buzz and being ignored. But for all their amazing qualities, do online communities really drive offline behavior? We say yes. There are plenty of innovative techniques for pushing consumers to act outside the digital sphere and providing results. Here are five of our favorite examples, pulled from a variety of areas.
Think of the last pharmaceutical commercial you saw. It probably involved scenes of nature: people doing normal things like sitting in bathtubs on a hilltop and walking on the beach. But what was the name of the drug it was advertising? You can’t remember, can you? That’s because 99 percent of the pharma commercials created are exactly the same, and they all blend into a soft-focus, elevator-music-tinged, generic pile of boredom.
This unending cycle of mediocrity can be prevented. I’ll take a look at a typical pharma commercial and then give it a makeover, as well as give you tips for making sure your pharmaceutical brand stands out. You should, of course, consult your marketing agency before making these changes.